By Brian Murray Social Media is a one of those terms that is thrown around although nobody really has the same definition. To some, it is a waste of time and others it is a black hole. People say it and immediately think of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and a host of other platforms. That needs to change immediately. The people who "get" social media don't think platform; instead, they think of people and the relationships that can develop. Social Media is not a destination or place to go- it is a mode of getting there. The social aspect of social media is the most important vehicle to drive a return on the time invested. And if the social aspect of social media is the car, then Community Management is the steering wheel. My plan is to illustrate three simple things to look at in order to tell if you are doing it "right".
Principles for Twitter Use:
1) Scan your last 50 tweets. If you don't see any @ symbols, you are doing it wrong. The point of the platform is to engage, and the absence of those symbols shows that you aren't doing it. Twitter is not the platform to constantly blast your latest press release. If I had to give you a number, I would say about 50% of your tweets should be conversation based.
2) Look at the links you have shared. Do they all lead to your website? If they do, you're being too promotional. Provide content and tidbits your audience will find relevant and valuable. The great news is there are millions of content producers out there that will welcome you sharing their content! Eventually, people will recognize you sharing and return the favor.
3) Do you tweet and get no response, even though you have 5,000 followers? That's because you are not top of mind. You need to start paying attention to the people that you follow. Answer their questions, congratulate them, or simply show them you are listening. When people see that you want to authentically engage with them, they will start doing the same.
Now apply the same principles to Facebook:
1) If you are not the person who is commenting the most on your page, you are doing it wrong. If others are commenting on what others say more than you, either hire them as an employee or start answering the questions. You would prefer that your employee answer questions on the phone rather than an unqualified teenager, right?
2) Are all of your status messages about your latest sale? Facebook is not the Sunday circular. You have a tough battle because you are not competing against just your normal business competition; you are competing to appear in the newsfeed along with a user's friends. Friends are inherently more interesting than people trying to sell you stuff all the time. Be a friend.
3) Does anybody respond when you post a status? Take a long hard look at your content and take off your marketer's hat. The single most important aspect of appearing in the newsfeed is interaction. Start thinking like a consumer and produce content that is short, sweet and sharable.
What did I leave out? Any tidbits that can help me do a better job? Comment below! How important is listening? Find out with this free download of Chapter 1of Likeable Social Media.